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M&CC to begin re-evaluation campaign

first_imgThe Mayor and City Council (M&CC) would be embarking on a re-evaluation exercise in and around Georgetown in a measure designed to aid in its struggle to find finance.According to Town Clerk Royston King, the project is one of the many initiatives being undertaken by the Council with support from central Government.He said the M&CC recently wrapped up a series of meetings with Canadian company Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, which is tasked with undertaking the re-evaluation exercise. The project is expected to commence in the coming months.The last time property was evaluated was in 1996, and according to the Valuation Act, property must be valuated every five years. For a long time, City Hall has been crying foul when it comes to property valuation, since it is contending that some businesses are paying below value for their property.King previously explained that a number of residential properties have been converted for commercial use, but those owners are still paying residential rates. This, King says, starves the City Treasury of much needed finances.Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan announced in January that the Finance Ministry is providing technical assistance and expertise to effect a mass valuation of properties. The valuation exercise would require at least between 12 and 18 months, and Government is seeking to engage a Canadian institution, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which does property evaluations for the state of Ontario and other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.City Hall quite often finds itself in a difficult situation as it relates to the management of its financial resources. The municipality has been unable to pay workers their wages and salaries, resulting in mass protests. It deducted NIS, PAYE and Credit Union dues from the workers but did not pay those monies to the relevant agencies. When these shortfalls occur, the Council would then run to the Central Government for a bailout. Just at the end of 2017, the Communities Ministry had to grant City Hall a bailout of over $600 million after its garbage contractors had withdrawn their services.Despite their financial situation, City Hall recently launched its $19 million celebrations for Georgetown’s 175th anniversary. However, King informed that ‘friends of the city’ would be putting up the funds. This has drawn some criticisms from some councillors since they are of the view that the monies expended could be geared towards restoring the building as well as offset other expenses. City Hall’s financial woes last_img read more

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